Sensitization of citizens will ensure nation “continues to speak with one voice”  – Prof. Kirton 

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The sensitization of citizens in Guyana will ensure the nation continues to speak with one voice on the ongoing Venezuela border controversy. So says international relations expert, Professor Raymond Mark Kirton. 

“Perhaps the most important approach to be enhanced by Guyana is the sensitization of its own citizens in order to avoid misinterpretation, information deficits, and the emergence of speculation,” he outlined. He was at the time addressing a panel discussion titled, “Guyana-Venezuela Border Controversy: Perspectives from Guyana” at Trinidad’s Cipriani College of Labour and Cooperative Studies on November 21.

Professor Kirton said this ensures the nation “continues to speak with one voice.” 

The importance of public education was also raised by Guyana’s Opposition. It expressed concern in a November 21 statement of the “unsettling wave” of social media commentary on the issue, leaving citizens in a “state of unease.” 

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“The APNUAFC wishes to reiterate its unwavering commitment to collaborative efforts with the government, emphasizing the need for unity in addressing these pressing matters,” the opposition stated. “We stand ready to actively participate in any initiative aimed at fostering peace and ensuring genuine confidence among our Guyanese brethren, as we patiently await the ruling of the International Court of Justice.” 

The APNU+AFC called on the government to “redouble its efforts” and engage with the opposition and populace to “assuage the fears that linger within the hearts of our fellow countrymen.”

In recent weeks, a slew of videos of Venezuelan military marching, training and interacting with citizens have popped up on popular sites like TikTok and Facebook since the new wave of aggression from Venezuela began. 

Venezuela has been relentless in its campaign. Constant social media posts have also been made by President Nicolas Maduro and his defense minister Vladimir Padrino López.

Guyana’s Vice President Bharrat Jagdeo had said that the country will not be responding to any jingoism emerging from that side. President Ali reminded that Guyana’s primary focus is ensuring that the region remains “a zone of peace.” He recently urged Guyanese to only rely on information emerging from official channels in the government.

The President said too that a public awareness campaign is being launched to counter the misinformation on the border controversy.


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